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Toronto Uber regulations may match those in Edmonton, Ottawa

As Toronto gets set to release new regulations for Uber it may look across Canada to see how other municipalities have dealt with the upstart ride-hailing service.

Uber off-limits in Calgary and Vancouver, but regulated on Edmonton's roads

Taxi drivers have called on Toronto to ban Uber, but instead the city plans to roll out new regulations for the ride-hailing service. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

Toronto is set to release new regulations for Uber on Thursday after months of tension between the taxi industry and the upstart ride-hailing company.

Taxi drivers, who say their business has been cut in half since the arrival of Uber and its controversial UberX program, want it banned. But Mayor John Tory has said the service is here to stay, though it needs new regulations.

Here's a look at how five other Canadian cities have dealt with the Uber.

Ottawa

Last week, Ottawa released new proposed regulations for Uber that would keep its operations on the road in the nation's capital, if approved by council. Among the key new rules are the following:

  • Any driver who would transport people would have to undergo a police record check and provide a copy of their driving record. Uber drivers would resubmit annually, while cab drivers would submit them every three years.
  • Drivers must have at least $5 million in liability insurance.
  • Private cabs such as Uber would also have to pay a 10-and-a-half-cent charge per ride and an annual licence fee to help cover the cost of inspections and enforcement.

Uber called the regulations fair and said it would work with the municipality to work out some of the details.

Taxi drivers criticized the plan, saying it does nothing for them.

Calgary

Uber stopped operating in Calgary after the city council passed stringent regulations. (Sarah Lawrynuik/CBC)

Uber pulled its operations out of Calgary in February, saying it "just can't operate" in the city due to new city bylaws.

Calgary's rules limit Uber to transporting customers acquired through its mobile app, leaving street hails, taxi-stand pickups and phone-dispatch requests as the exclusive domain of taxi drivers. The city also wants each Uber driver to pay a $220 per year licensing fee and insists on more stringent background checks.

Edmonton

Uber is legal in Edmonton, but it's drivers currently aren't on the road because they can't get the required insurance.

City council approved regulations that require Uber to pay $70,000 per year. Council also bumped up everyone's base fare to $3.25, has blocked Uber from accepting passengers hailed on the street and requires drivers to get commercial insurance.

But that insurance won't be available until the summer, something that forced the company to suspend operations.

Vancouver

B.C.'s provincial government recently said the arrival of ride-sharing is a matter of when, not if, but so far Vancouver has kept Uber out.

Councillors have expressed concerns with a range of issues when it comes to Uber, including driver background checks. The city council has also voted against ending the moratorium on taxi licenses — even though a city staff report suggested there's a shortage of cabs in Vancouver.

Montreal

Taxi drivers protesting UberX jammed the lanes at Montreal's Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau airport during a February protest. (Jay Turnbull / CBC)

Uber makes around 300,000 trips per month in Montreal, the company said. But if the union representing some 4,000 Montreal taxi drivers gets its way in court, that number will go down to zero.

In February, the Regroupement des travailleurs autonomes Métallos union sought a permanent injunction against Uber across Quebec.

"We are doing what the government should've done before, and we're asking for Uber to be deactivated for all of the province of Quebec," said spokesman Benoît Jugand after filing the paperwork.

But Quebec's Transport Minister Jacques Daoust has said Uber is "here to stay," though he warned drivers will have to pay their fair share of taxes if the ride-hailing service is allowed to remain in operation in the province.